Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Phenology: April 16, 2012

Posted by Kirk
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This one's going to be short. I didn't have much time to note phenology this week. I skipped out of recording the podcast last week and hinted at a family emergency. I'm sad to say my uncle went into the hospital on Monday morning and passed away on Tuesday evening. The week has been a bit of a blur.

The (abridged) week in review:

Wednesday morning I was delighted to step out my back door and smell lilacs. While they aren't in full bloom yet, there are enough open to smell them from across the yard and they smell marvelous.  People have begin to report seeing Osprey return to the Twin Cities.

Thursday I noticed blood root blooming at work. I looked for evidence of orchids coming up but so far nothing. Not surprising, I wasn't really expecting them to have poked up yet but this year anything seems possible.

Friday I checked the list serves and noted that people around the metro have already seen Northern Waterthrush, Brown Thrashers and Eastern Towhee. I'm hoping to see those all soon. I did spot my first Common Loon of the year on the way to a school for an outreach program. That was my 91st bird species of the year.

Saturday I lead back-to-back girl scout programs at work that were basically guided hikes. We found lots of wood ticks, saw blooming rue anemone and wood violets. The ferns in the forest were well on their way, some were six to eight inches high. The highlight of the day was setting up a spotting scope at our final hiking destination and seeing an active bald eagle nest. One of the parent eagles caught a fish and then flew up to the nest to feed the two young eaglets. We could see right into the nest and watch the fuzzy young being fed. It started to rain late Saturday night. I woke up at 2:40 at night to a pretty heavy down pour.

Sunday morning I checked the rain gauge and we'd gotten .92 inches of rain over night. That's a pretty respectable amount. Some light thunderstorms headed though on Sunday evening as well and while I thought the totals would be higher we only got an additional .52 inches of rain. The storm moved though pretty fast.

The week ahead:

I'm afraid we my stressful week I don't have a lot to tell people to watch for next week. My previous year's data is pretty useless this year! Watch for new birds arriving, we're getting a couple new species every week now. Keep an eye out for shorebirds such as marbled godwits, black-necked stilts and Hudsonian godwits. There should be the very first Magnolia Warblers and Orange-crowned Warblers showing up soon too. Will today really bring April snow like they are predicting. We'll have to wait to see.


Jeffrey Willius said...

Sorry to hear of your uncle's death, Kirk. All part of the ebb and flow of life that you observe and report so well.